John McCaslin

A glimpse of the softer side of Donald H. Rumsfeld unexpectedly pops up on page 131 of "Rumsfeld's War" (Regnery Publishing), the new book on the tough-minded defense secretary by Rowan Scarborough, defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times.

Scarborough writes that Rumsfeld surprised his wife, Joyce, on her 70th birthday Sept. 18, 2002, with a book about her consisting of photographs he had compiled and a narrative he wrote. He called it "Joyce Rumsfeld: A Joy to the World," had it printed in brown hardcover and gave copies to the couple's three children and other family members.

"Don told me, 'There will be many books about me and nobody is going to write a book about Joyce,'" a family friend confided to Scarborough. "In the midst of all this, I think it's the most touching thing I've ever heard. He had a million other things to think about and to do, and I know very few men who would have taken the time and effort to do something like that."

AGE DISCRIMINATION

"Children of all ages are welcome to attend, as long as there is at least one child 7 years old or under and no more than two adults per group," the White House stresses of this year's annual Easter Egg Roll, to be held Monday, April 12, on the South Lawn of the White House.

TWEEDLEDEE

Why should anyone pay attention to Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka?

"We'll probably be on more state ballots than Ralph Nader," says the candidate, who has nicknamed President Bush and the four remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls "Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber."

NOTHING'S FREE

The latest roundup of outrageous federal spending, including taxpayer-funded limousines for Jennifer Lopez and other USO concerts - even though federal guidelines require luxury expenses be paid out of private donations - has infuriated one Republican lawmaker.

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling quotes a current Washington Waste Watchers summary of how the General Accounting Office has uncovered roughly $433,000 in "inappropriate expenses" that the USO has charged to the Pentagon over a two-year period.

"The charges were for alcohol, limousines and first-class airplane tickets in conjunction with concerts performed by Jennifer Lopez, Kid Rock, Ja Rule and others," it states. "In one instance, the Pentagon paid MTV $343,910 for 'production expenses' at the Lopez concert."

SUMMON THE SCULPTOR

A Republican has led a successful campaign to erect a statue of a Democrat on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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